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FibroScan Specialist

Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg

Gastroenterology located in Fredericksburg, VA & Stafford, VA

FibroScan® is an innovative medical device that uses noninvasive technology to identify and measure the extent of liver disease. This is a game-changer because your only other option is a liver biopsy. The team at Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg proudly uses the most advanced technology. FibroScan is easier and pain-free, less costly than a biopsy, and allows the team to finetune your liver treatment. If you have liver disease, you need to learn about FibroScan. Call the office in Fredericksburg or Stafford, Virginia, or schedule an appointment online today.

FibroScan Q&A

What is FibroScan?

FibroScan uses noninvasive ultrasound-based technology to accurately diagnose liver disease and monitor the liver’s ongoing health.

The FibroScan device measures the amount of fat in your liver, as well as the extent of liver stiffness. Stiff tissues accurately reflect the amount of scarring (fibrosis).

Armed with information from your FibroScan, your provider can determine the stage of your liver disease and make informed treatment decisions.

When would I need FibroScan?

Liver disease is a chronic condition that gets progressively worse. However, the rate at which it progresses differs for each person. For this reason, it's essential to regularly monitor the scarring, determine how fast it's developing, and adjust your treatment.

You need FibroScan to monitor liver diseases such as:

  • Viral infections (hepatitis B and C)
  • Cirrhosis
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

These diseases cause a buildup of fat and inflammation. Inflammation damages the liver and causes scarring. Over time, the disease progresses, and the amount of scar tissue increases, replacing healthy liver tissues.

The scarring, called fibrosis, progresses to cause cirrhosis, a chronic disease that continues to destroy liver tissue and replace it with thick scar tissue.

When treated at an early stage, you can slow down the scarring and protect the remaining liver. Without treatment, cirrhosis keeps getting worse, eventually damaging such a large portion of your liver that you need a liver transplant.

What happens during a FibroScan exam?

Your provider asks you to fast for a short time before your FibroScan. During the scan, you simply lie down and lift your right arm over your head.

Your provider applies a gel to the skin on your right side. Then they place the handheld FibroScan probe against your side and gently push it between your ribs near your liver.

The blunt tip of the probe sends out a pulse of energy. As the wave of energy travels through your liver, the device measures its speed. The energy's speed and the ultrasound waves that return to the probe produce two scores.

One score reveals the amount of scar tissue, and the other tells your provider the amount of fat. Determining the amount of excess fat is important because it gradually damages your liver and leads to inflammation and scarring.

To learn more about FibroScan, call Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg or book an appointment online today.